Interpreting 3-D Seismic Data
As mentioned in Chapter 1, and elsewhere in this work, the 3-D seismic interpretation does not rely solely on seismic data. Instead, good interpreters (or good interpretation teams) try to integrate as many other types of data as possible into their interpretations. This might include well log data, production data, pressure data, and other types of geologic, geophysical and engineering data. The idea is to make the interpretation as robust as possible. That is, an interpretation that explains the seismic observations, but does not agree with what is known about the geology or production data, needs to be rejected. Multidisciplinary skills and approaches are required in order to maximize the return on the investment made in collecting and processing the data (Hart, 1997). This represents a significant change from the times when geophysicists alone were responsible for looking at, and interpreting, seismic data.
Not only has the philosophy of the interpretation process changed, the mechanics of the process have also changed. The use of interactive workstations to view and interpret seismic data (Chapter 5) has dramatically improved productivity. Interpreters can now play “what if” games more rapidly (this might be done when the seismic data are ambiguous). Automation of some tasks is now possible. The interpreter can view his/her data in ways that were not possible when working with paper images. New data can quickly be incorporated into the interpretation process to update or revise existing interpretations. Different vintages of seismic data, perhaps including multiple